The people of Hyderabad were very busy in the month of September. While the civic authorities have geared up the city with beautification works and arrangements for the global event on biodiversity, CoP – 11, the people of Hyderabad were blissfully immersed in the celebrations of Ganesh Chaturthi and Ganesh immersion. Celebrations apart, health issues like malaria, dengue and viral fevers caused an alarm among the public and authorities alike. On the other hand, government gave another shock to the people by increasing the diesel prices, RTC bus fares and by putting cap on the number of subsidised LPG cylinders.
Following are major developments in September 2012.
- The Union government hiked diesel prices by Rs. 5.62 per litre making the price Rs 51.17 a litre in Hyderabad.
- It has also restricted the supply of subsidized cooking gas by limiting the supply to six gas cylinders per household in a year and said any requirement beyond that to cost the actual market rate.
- The city had a festive look because of Ganesh Chaturdhi this month. Despite the state government’s awareness programs to use eco-friendly idols, the use of Plaster of Paris idols continued this year also. This year, the height of popular Khairatabad Ganesh idol was 56 feet and a gigantic laddu of 3,500 tons was placed in the left arm of the idol. The celebrations of Ganesh immersion also ended peacefully. However, the festival left the city with 3,360 metric tonnes of garbage.
- Cases of malaria, dengue, and viral fevers showed up in the city. According to the health officials the positive cases of dengue and malaria are recorded at 32 and 347 respectively. Six to seven out of every 10 patients with high fever are said to have viral fevers.
- The day after the Ganesh nimajjan saw a massive show of strength with hundreds of thousands of separate Telangana State movement protesters marching towards the venue at Necklace Road.
- The much awaited EAMCET counselling started this month. Most students opted for ECE and CSE as top preferences. At the end of the second phase of counselling as many as 98,218 seats across the state left vacant with no takers. 229 colleges received less than 100 admissions while 22 colleges had absolutely no admissions at all.
- Admissions for engineering management quota seats, which were supposed to be conducted online this year, were back to square with supreme courts stay order. So, the same old procedure will be followed even for this year.
- Despite the state government’s request to exempt AP from NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) for the admissions into MBBS and BDS courses the Medical Council of India (MCI) insisted on all state governments to adopt NEET. It also announced that the first ever NEET will be conducted on 5 May, 2013.
- Officials are planning to give a boost to the higher education in Old city. According to sources, they are planning to construct three new degree colleges, one each at Falaknuma, Chanchalguda and Golconda along with improving the infrastructure at the existing Intermediate colleges.
- In a significant judgement that would help owners of tiny plots, the consumer disputes redress forum in Hyderabad mentioned that land owners also come under the purview of the definition of a consumer and hence all land related grievances by tiny plot owners can be addressed by consumers’ forum.
- In a major move to eradicate discretionary allotment of land by the government to industrial and infrastructure projects, the state government came up with a new land policy which makes the process more transparent and the allotment will be done based on the optimum requirement.
- In a recent survey conducted by GHMC which involved 5,000 properties in the city, it was found that most owners are paying less than Rs 500 towards property tax per annum. As against Rs 2 crore per annum tax from those properties GHMC is generating only 15 lakhs which is 15 times less than the actual revenue.
- According to report compiled by real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), the first half of 2012 saw a decline in the new residential project launches by nearly 75% to 1,500 units compared to over 6,000 launches during the same period a year ago.
- Commuters who use the Nehru Outer Ring Road (ORR) connecting Pedda Amberpet to Patancheru, and the link road connecting Gachibowli have to pay a toll fee.
Roads and Public transport
- APSRTC increased the minimum fare of ordinary buses from Rs 4 to Rs 5. The minimum fare in metro buses remained the same while the fare from second stage onwards has increased. The fare in the AC buses also remained the same. Except student bus passes all other passes were increased by Rs 100.
- A skywalk between Rathifile bus terminus and Secunderabad bus station has been approved by the GHMC standing committee whose initial cost has been marked at Rs 7.20 crore.
- In a Comprehensive Transportation Study (CTS) taken up by LEA Associates in the Hyderabad Metropolitan Area, Begumpet was found to have the highest vehicular traffic. As many as 2.66 lakh vehicles pass over the the Begumpet flyover every day.
- In a drive launched by city traffic police to curb drunken driving more than 8,400 drunken-driving cases have been registered during the past ten months.
- The Kushaiguda – Moulali road, partially blocked for the past three years has been re-opened and the traffic has been re-stored on this route. The authorities are also planning to remove the iron girders to make a way for buses and ambulances.
- The South Central Railway (SCR) is planning to replace staircases at 1 to 9 platforms in Secunderabad railway station with escalators.
- The power cuts are still bothering the citizens of Hyderabad. Authorities are promising that people may get relieved from these power cuts as they are planning to set up 20 new electric substations in Greater Hyderabad.
- APCPDCL issued regulations to big commercial establishments across the state asking them to use fewer lights and lighter cooling during peak business hours between 6 pm to 10 pm. People exceeding the cap would be levied with heavy penalty which is to be 2-5 times the normal tariff.
Arrangements for CoP – 11
The civic authorities geared up city for the CoP -11. There were many developments in Hyderabad. Following were observed.
- GHMC has prepared to take up a special sanitation drive along the routes which are to be taken by the delegates at the global meet. The drive would be taken up along 91 stretches for a month long. Beginning 20 September the roads in the selected stretches will be litter and garbage free.
- The city traffic cops conducted a crash course in etiquette for the auto drivers in the city asking them to wear uniforms, follow traffic rules, avoid rude behaviour, not to fleece the visitors, not to cheat them, etc. which would bring disrepute to the country.
- GHMC is planning to take severe action against those who violate the sanitation rules in the public places during CoP-11. Heavy fines will be imposed for spitting, urinating and dumping garbage in public places that could range anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 50,000.
Events and awards
- The Film Federation of India (FFI) has organized screening of nominations for the Oscars for the ‘Best foreign language film award’ in Hyderabad.
- The Indian postal department is planning to release a stamp on October 16 to mark the 11th ‘Conference of the Parties’ (CoP-11) convention on biodiversity. The prime minister is going to release it at the meet.
- For the second time in a row, the Taj Falaknuma Palace near Charminar, bagged the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller Readers Awards in the Overseas Leisure Hotels (Asia and Indian subcontinent) category. The hotel also scored high on ambiance and service.
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